• Journal Article

Reducing indoor air pollutants with air filtration units in wood stove homes


McNamara, M. L., Thornburg, J., Semmens, E. O., Ward, T. J., & Noonan, C. W. (2017). Reducing indoor air pollutants with air filtration units in wood stove homes. Science of the Total Environment, 592, 488-494. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.03.111


Background: Biomass burning has been shown to be amajor source of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) in developing and higher income countries across the world. Specifically, wood burning for cooking and heating contributes to high indoor concentrations of fine (particles with aerodynamic diameters <2.5 mu m; PM2.5) and coarse (particles with aerodynamic diameters

Results: Homes (n= 48) were randomized to receive in-roomair filtration units with either a high efficiency filter (i.e. active) or a lower efficiency fiberglass filter (i.e., placebo). The active filter intervention showed a 66% reduction in indoor PM2.5 concentrations (95% CI: 42.2% to 79.7% reduction) relative to the placebo intervention. Both the active and the placebo filters were effective in substantially reducing indoor concentrations of PMc (63.3% and 40.6% average reduction for active and placebo filters, respectively) and PMc-associated endotoxin concentrations (91.8% and 80.4% average reductions, respectively).

Conclusions: These findings support the use of high efficiency air filtration units for reducing indoor PM2.5 in homes using a wood stove for primary heating. We also discovered that using lower efficiency, lower cost filter alternatives can be effective for reducing PMc and airborne endotoxin in homes burning biomass fuel. (C) 2017 Published by Elsevier B.V.